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THE GOODLIEST LAND 



Betty Ray McCain 



THE LIBRARY OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

AT CHAPEL HILL 




THE COLLECTION OF 
NORTH CAROLINIANA 

PRESENTED BY 



North Carolinians Society 

C906 
N87s 
no. 40 



The Goodliest Tand 



by 

Betty Kay McCain 




Together with Tributes to Betty Kay McCain on the Occasion of 
Her Acceptance of the North Caroliniana Society Award for 2006 

20 April 2006 



NORTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY IMPRINTS 

H. G.Jones, General Editor, Numbers 1-40 

No. 1 . An Evening at Monticello: An Essay in 'Reflection (1 978) ' 
by Edwin M. Gill 

No. 2. The Paul Green I Know (1 978) 
by Elizabeth Lay Green 

No. 3. The Albert Coates I Know (1 979) 
by Gladys Hall Coates 

No. 4. The Sam Ervin I Know (1 980) 
by Jean Conyers Ervin 

~~ No. 5. Sam Ragan (1981) 

by Neil Morgan 

No. 6. Thomas Wolfe of North Carolina (1982) 
edited by H. G. Jones 

No. 7. Gertrude Sprague Carraway (1982) 
by Sam Ragan 

No. 8. John Fries Blair (1983) 

by Margaret Blair McCuiston 

No. 9. William Clyde Friday and Ida Howell Friday (1 984) 
by Georgia Carroll Kyser and William Brandey Aycock 

No. 10. William S. Powell, Historian (1985) 
by David Stick and William C. Friday 

No. 1 1 . 'Gallantry Unsurpassed" (1985) 
edited by Archie K. Davis 

No. 12. Mary and Jim Semans, North Carolinians (1986) 
by W. Kenneth Goodson 

No. 13. The High Water Mark (1986) 
edited by Archie K. Davis 

No. 1 4. Raleigh and Quinn: The Explorer and His Boswell (1 987) 
edited by H. G.Jones 

No. 15. A Half Century in Coastal History (1987) 
by David Stick 

No. 16. Thomas Wolfe at Eighty-seven (1988) 
edited by H. G. Jones 

No. 1'7. A Third of a Century in Senate Cloakrooms (1988) 
by William McWhorter Cochrane 

No. 1 8. The Emma Neat 'Morrison I Know (1989) 
by Ida Howell Friday' 

No. 19. Thomas Wolfe's Composition Books (1990) 
edited by Alice R. Cotten 

No. 20. My Father, Burke Davis (1990) 
by Angela Davis-Gardner 

, [Continued on inside back cover] 



The Goodliest Land 

by 

Betty Kay McCain 



Together with Tributes to Betty Kay McCain on the Occasion of 
Her Acceptance of the North Caroliniana Society Award for 2006 

20 April 2006 



Chapel Hill 27514-8890 

NORTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY 

2006 



NORTH CAROUNIANA SOCIETY IMPRINTS 

Number 40 

H. G.Jones, General Editor, Nos. 1-40 



This edition is limited to 

five hundred copies of 

which this is number 

400 



Photo Credits: JERRY COTTEN: Front cover, pages 16, 25, 32, 33 

(top), 35, 36 (top), 37 (all), 38 (all), 39 (all). JAN HENSLEY: 1, 2, 21, 
28, 31, 33 (bottom), 34, 36 (bottom), 40 (all), 41 (all). H. G. JONES: 43. 



Copyright © 2006 by 

North Caroliniana Society 

UNC Campus Box 3930, Wilson Eibrary 

Chapel Hill, North Caroliniana 27514-8890 

Http:l I www, ncsociety. org 

Email: hg/onesCa), email, unc. edu 

All rights reserved 

Manufactured in the United States of America 



no 4o 



PART I 



The Goodliest Land 

by 

Betty Kay McCain 



i 



i. 
t 

o 

t" 

5 




Delivered before the North Caroliniana Society's Members and Friends in 

The William and la Friday Center for Continuing Education 

Chapel Hill, 20 April 2006 




EDITOR'S NOTE 



Betty Ray McCain's charm, wit, and humor — always at their best in her unique 
oral delivery with mannerisms, gestures, inflections, parenthetical expressions, 
coined words, and endless sentences — are beyond the ken of most speakers 
and cannot be fully captured when her words are reduced to type. Even those 
of different political ideologies are amused and often disarmed by her 
persuasive powers through good humor. North Carolinians who have never 
heard her speak will need to know that the real Betty McCain cannot be 
reduced to mere words. Those who have seen her at a podium or in an 
extemporaneous setting will have fun imagining her delivery of this address. 
Clear to all will be evidence that behind Betty McCain's public image is a very 
serious North Carolinian who loves her state and its people and who has 
dedicated a distinguished career to their interests. — H. G. Jones. 



The Goodliest Land 

Betty Kay McCain 



Thirty-three years ago in his memorable address, "The Veil of 
Humility," Archie K. Davis substituted "veil" for "vale" (as in "the vale of 
humility between two mountains of conceit" — with apologies to our sister 
states of Virginia and South Carolina), and said, "we are the modern recipients 
of all that has gone on before. What we are today is in almost exact 
proportion to who they [earlier generations] were and what they did in the 
yesterdays of our past." I count it a great blessing to have been fortunate 
enough to have shared these several generations with Archie Davis (who 
served for eleven years as president of this Society) and with each and ever} 7 
one of you. You are an inspiration and a delight and I am grateful for the 
privilege of your friendship. 

When I review the names of former recipients of the North 
Caroliniana Society Award, I should quake because I do not measure up to the 
stature and accomplishments they have attained. I am just a "trench 
warrior" — and the most appreciative and grateful one in all the armies of time. 
I don't deserve your kindness or this honor, but I am sincerely grateful. So, 
thank you, President and Dean and Justice and Judge and Senator and House 
Member and long-time friend, Bill Whichard; and, thanks to you, my dear 
friend, Dr. H. G. Jones, who made North Carolina's then Department of 
Archives and History the best in the nation and who has run the North 
Carolina Collection and this Society and who has helped the Inuit people of 
the Arctic, among many other successful pursuits. And thank you all for 
making my topic, "The Goodliest Land," a true statement. 

Professor William S. Powell, who won the North Caroliniana Society 
Award in 1985, quotes Ralph Lane of the 1585 Roanoke colony as describing 
North Carolina as "the goodliest soile under the cope of heaven," and it has 
since been populated by the "goodliest people" as well. So, tonight I'd like to 
talk with you about this "goodliest land" and her people and a little bit about 
my journey here — a journey of much joy and some real sadness and some truly 
remarkable opportunities provided me by many of you, especially Governor 
Jim Hunt and Carolyn, and the University of North Carolina System. My 
journey has been laced with considerable hilarity also — and you have been part 
of those good times as well. This is a tale, a travelogue, a thank you. 

You are an almost ideal audience. Adlai Stevenson described an ideal 
audience as one that is "highly intelligent and slightly inebriated." I say almost 
because the drinking doesn't commence until 6 o'clock. And how T I miss my 



4 BETTY KAY McCAIN 

beloved husband, John McCain, who made life a joy and who always 
admonished me to remember that greatest of all Beatitudes — "Blessed are the 
brief, for they shall be invited again." 

Roy Blount, Jr., said, "The South is a place. North is a direction." 
Here in the "goodliest land" we are unique; we are characters; we love to tell 
stories; we savor everything. Our joys are more joyful, our sorrows more tragic, 
we live more intensely; we die with more flair; and our funerals are absolutely 
fabulous. Those of you who are from "off — that's anyone not born and raised 
in North Carolina or the South — will never understand Southern funerals. 
There's more "carrying on" at a Southern funeral than at ten Irish wakes — just 
not quite as boisterously. Now, that would be tacky. It's okay to be a tad 
weird and a big Bubba and even "white trash," but please, please, please, don't be 
tacky! In a hilarious cookbook (of all things) titled Being Dead Is No Excuse, two 
wonderful Mississippi authors handle "tacky" beautifully. I commend the 
book to you with enthusiasm. You'll know those people. 

Growing up in the "goodliest land" gives you enough material to write 
several books, as long as you don't care if Great Aunt Susan Almira (her real 
name— we're big on double names) never speaks to you again. If Aunt Susan 
Almira is featured prominently in your book and if she doesn't like your book, 
she'll make a beeline to your mama and inform her that she does not know 
where you got all that mess but it did not come from her side of the family. 

I am a child of the Depression. I did not suffer during the 
Depression, although we were as hard hit as many others. My father was a 
country lawyer, the only one in our home town of Faison. (Like Senator Dale 
Bumpers, he said he was "the best lawyer in a one-lawyer town.") But we ate 
well. If you were charged with murder and you had no money for legal 
counsel,j/0//Vgive your lawyer the tenderloin at hog- killing time, too! We lived 
in the house built by my maternal grandfather, Thomas Perrett. Grandpa 
Perrett was the mayor of Faison for thirty-one years, ran a general store, a 
livery stable, an insurance business, organized the Temple Masonic Lodge, was 
a justice of the peace, and served in the North Carolina Senate. Faison was 
burned down during General Sherman's visit in March of 1865. Our house 
was built on the site of a turpentine mill. I know that made a hot blaze! Some 
young wag wrote on the side of a downtown store, "Davis rides a white horse, 
Lincoln rides a mule, Davis is a gentleman, Lincoln is a fool," so the Yankees 
burned the town to the ground. I have the Masonic minute book with the 
first entries after the war. They read: "We could not read the minutes of the 
last convocation as they was burned by the federal forces" — and they was\ 
Those Yankees were the most company we've ever had in Faison! 

My grandfather served nearly four years in the Confederate Army and 
still wasn't twenty-one years old when the war was over. He was a 
sharpshooter in the 26th North Carolina Regiment and was very, very tall. I 
don't know how he managed to make it through the war, but I think it was 
because he was shot three times on the first day at Gettysburg and therefore 
could not take part in Pickett's charge. He owned a repeater rifle, and when 
he went down with the third wound, his boyhood friend from Chatham 



THE GOODUEST LAND 5 

County said, "Tom, you can't go on; can I use your gun?" Grandpa Perrett 
records in his memoir of the battle, "A Trip That Didn't Pay," that the boy 
advanced two paces and fell mortally wounded. Thomas Perrett, like his hero 
and former colonel, Zeb Vance, was never bitter about the war; instead, he 
immediately set about doing all he could to rebuild on the ashes of the South 
that he knew and loved. And with no Marshall Plan, I might add. 

The rural South where I grew up in the early 1930s was still reeling 
from the effects of the Civil War, but we were looking ahead with hope and 
optimism. I am so glad that three of my cousins from Faison are here tonight: 
Anne Stroud Taylor, who is doing a fantastic job in getting many places in 
Duplin County — and especially in Faison — on the National Register; Inga 
Christiansen Flake, whose husband, Elmer, is now our mayor in Faison; and 
Alice Hicks Dorsett and her husband, Dr. J. Dewey Dorsett,Jr., who now live 
in Charlotte. These great folks continue to lead in our "goodliest land." 

The "goodliest land" is not only a place but a beautiful place. From 
the mountains to the coast we are surrounded and inspired by beauty. And 
then, when you grow up in the "goodliest land," there are the "goodliest 
people" and their language. Folks up North just don't speak our kind of 
English — "Irving, come heah!" just isn't in the Book of Common Prayer (1928 
version) or from Calvin's Institutes or anything said by John and Charles 
Wesley, the Holy Father, or whoever's running the latest Baptist State 
Convention ever said. We are ridiculed or teased (depending upon who's 
doing the ridiculing or teasing) about how we talk. My roommate in graduate 
school in New York ordered a chocolate malted and got a cup of coffee. She 
did "talk long," as we say about drawlers, but anybody should have been able 
to understand her — all except "Irving, come heah!" Many of you were sent 
North for some of your schooling for at least one college degree. My daddy 
assured me that way, "You'll always come home to the South to live!" It 
worked for me and for lots of you too. 

I love the language of the South. Each region has its own idioms and 
idiosyncrasies. (One lady from my hometown of Faison called them 
"idiosyncranisms.") If you were too drunk to walk home in Faison, you were 
either "knee-walking" drunk or really "out of the way," as in "Where's Henry?" 
"He's really out of the way." Or, "Don't walk, Lucille; he got you drunk; let 
him drag you." Or, "How are they kin?" "They're kin on the 'surer' 
side" — that meant your mama's side. Or, if a man just would not work (and it 
was usually a man they were discussing), they'd say, "He sure is sorryl" That 
did not mean he was apologetic; it meant he was too "no-count" to hold 
gainful employment. Or, if someone had to get married (and back then they 
usually did get married), they'd "wall" their eyes around and comment, 
"Nothing new about that but the clothes." 

I love some of the "idiosyncranisms" in my present hometown, 
Wilson, formerly the world's largest tobacco market. (We always do the 
commercial for our home town; remember that the South is & place) Will all 
of you Wilson folks here stand up? Thank you all for coming. I love Wilson 
so much and brag on it so much that one of my friends from "off asked, "Is 



6 BETTY RAY McCAIN 

Jesus from Wilson?" I told her no but that He was good enough to have been. 
If they don't care for something to eat that's passed to them in Wilson, they 
say, "No thank you, ma'am, but I don't love it." Or if someone is really cross, 
really grouchy, they say, "Her husband's so nice but she's always so ill" (two 
syllables). What wonderful things we Southerners do with words — wonderful, 
glorious, and funny things. 

We've always had good writers, but in North Carolina we're enjoying 
a true Renaissance in creative writing. You all could help me name your 
favorite writers — novelists, biographers, poets, journalists — and many of them 
are sitting right here. Much of the credit goes to the "jewel in our crown," the 
sixteen-member public university system, The University of North Carolina, 
and our fine private colleges and universities, such as Barton College in 
Wilson. I'm grateful that Bland Simpson, head of UNC-Chapel Hill's Creative 
Writing Program, is here tonight. He's a fabulous musician too. We all rejoice 
in the good work that UNC-TV does, and I am glad to see Tom Howe, Gail 
Zimmerman, and others here tonight. They do a great job in promoting our 
"goodliest land" and our "goodliest people." 

When we look at Southern writers, we often hearken back to William 
Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, James Dickey, and the like. I personally feel 
they've done the South and Southerners just about as much damage as 
hookworms and Yankee rifles. We are more correctly portrayed — again my 
personal view — by Harper Lee, Eudora Welty, and Flannery O'Connor. But 
to find the best, let's look closer to home. North Carolina's Randall Jarrell's 
great poetry soars. Our former North Carolina Poet Laureates Sam Ragan and 
Fred Chappell "fluff up the clouds" and cool us with their glorious verse. 
Maya Angelou inspired our nation at President Clinton's inauguration. Look 
at North Carolina's beloved Doris Betts, writer extraordinaire, who has 
inspired thousands of budding authors through her teaching of creative writing 
at Chapel Hill. Many of those buds have bloomed! Look at Kaye Gibbons, 
Jill McCorkle, Randall Kenan (from Duplin County), and many others. Lee 
Smith is marvelous as a writer and teacher, and Christmas wouldn't be 
Christmas without rereading The Christmas Tetters. There are Alan Gurganus 
and our beloved friend, Reynolds Price, a great author and teacher at Duke 
University, and Elizabeth Spencer at UNC. And, the new book by President 
Jimmy Carter will jump-start us all. I could list and list and list. Timothy 
Tyson's book, Blood Done Sign My Name, is wonderful. And our 
authors — polite and generous Southerners that they are — help each other. 
Charles Frazier, who wrote Cold Mountain, gives Kaye Gibbons credit for 
helping him find an editor. And, one of our greatest literary giants, Thomas 
Wolfe, put us on the global map. South Carolina's Pat Conroy (who wrote The 
Prince of Tides, The Tords of Discipline, Beach Music, and other wonderful stuff) and 
Wilma Dykeman (winner of the North Caroliniana Society Award in 2001) 
volunteered to come — and came several times — to give free lectures to help 
us raise money to restore our Thomas Wolfe Memorial. (The "Old Kentucky 
Home," the boarding house run by Tom's mother in Asheville, was badly 
burned by an arsonist several years ago. Our villains seem to be the worst, too.) 



THE GOODLIEST LAND 7 

Our language and our use of it defines us as Southerners, dwellers in 
this "goodliest land." I call it "swamp dialect." I don't know about you, but 
when the pilot comes on the intercom and says, "I'd like to welcome all y'all 
aboard today and tell you that our cruisin' altitude will be [whatever]," my 
whole being relaxes, and I know that we're all right because our folks are 
driving! I'm not really sure about "Irving, come heah." 

Look around this hall and you'll see some of the finest historians and 
writers of history books in this nation. William S. Powell's monumental 
Encyclopedia of North Carolina will be published this fall, the third in a trilogy that 
includes The North Carolina Gazetteer and the six-volume Dictionary of North 
Carolina Biography. Dr. Jeffrey Crow's North Carolina: The History of an American 
State is used as an eighth-grade history text in our public schools. Dr. William 
S. Price, Dr. H. G. Jones, and Dr. Donald G. Mathews (the latter an authority 
on religion in the South and on our efforts to pass the Equal Rights 
Amendment) are here tonight, as are others who write the history of our state. 
They are bright stars in our galaxy of North Carolina writers. 

And, there is Doug Dibbert, president of the General Alumni 
Association at Carolina. He is truly the best in the nation, and he and his staff 
made my time as chairman of the Board of Directors of the GAA a joy, a 
delight, and a lesson in caring and efficiency that I will always appreciate. His 
wife, Debbie, is great, too. These are truly some of the "goodliest people." 

When you grow up in the "goodliest land," there's this great sense of 
family — of belonging, of roots. I am so proud to introduce you all to our 
family tonight. I'll introduce them in chronological order. First, our beloved 
son, Paul Pressly McCain, III (no, he was not named for Elvis but for his 
grandfather and uncle), his equally beloved wife, Beth, and two of their three 
children — Elizabeth (a junior at Broughton High School) and Emily (an eighth 
grader at LeRoy Martin Middle School). John-John, age 9, is not here because 
we were reasonably sure he'd "give out" before the program did. Our beloved 
daughter, Eloise McCain Hassell, and her beloved husband, Judge Robby (A. 
R.) Hassell, and their daughter Bayly. Their other daughter, Molly, is a first- 
year student at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, where she is 
doing "missionary work" amongst the Yankees. Our children are absolutely 
wonderful, but our grandchildren are just like Maty Poppins — practically perfect 
in every way. 

There are two other "goodliest people" here who are not family, but 
we love them like family. There is Kelli Barham, my beloved longtime friend 
and assistant at the Department of Cultural Resources and who worked in Jim 
Hunt's campaigns and who does all things well. There is Eve Williamson, with 
whom I've been honored to work in many venues since 1968. She made our 
North Carolina Museum of History happen and grew our Associates group to 
second largest in the nation — and she makes the world's best yeast rolls. 

One of my favorite stories is about Dorothy "Dot" Redford, our 
wonderful site manager at Somerset, a pre-Civil War rice plantation and house 
built and owned by the Josiah Collins family. Somerset, one of twenty- seven 
historic sites belonging to the state of North Carolina, is located in Washington 



8 BETTY RAY McCAIN 

County, right on the Tyrrell County line — we are talking deep swamp here, folks! 
It was contiguous with Confederate General James Johnston Pettigrew's 
plantation, but all the Yankees left of that was the family graveyard. (As you 
recall, the blue coats were very careless with fire. Now, I don't dislike 
Yankees, but when one of them strikes a match, I still shudder all over.) 
Pettigrew State Park is now our beautiful neighbor at Somerset. State and 
national parks are vital to heritage tourism. Back to Dot Redford. She is an 
African-American woman with a great sense of family. Inspired by Alex 
Haley's book Roots and the fascinating TV series based on the book, Dot, who 
descended from slaves at Somerset, began to research her roots. There were 
plantation records, but after emancipation the slave families took new 
surnames and scattered everywhere, so Dot had to depend on memories of 
elderly relatives and oral histories. She worked hard for years with a lead here 
and a lead there, but she succeeded. She had that sense of family, of roots, and 
she searched and listened and wrote. The great endeavor culminated in a huge 
reunion at Somerset with family members of the former slaves coming from 
all over the country. Dot even wrote the book, Somerset Homecoming: Recovering 
a Tost Heritage. 

All of you have family, too, who have reunions and tell tales. We all 
have family characters, too. One of my favorites was a great-aunt by marriage 
(we Southerners always delineate our blood Tin from our in-laws). My daddy 
was from Yancey County. He said we were all sort of crazy in the east because 
we kept marrying our cousins to keep the land in the family. This great-aunt 
lived in Clinton, right next door to the Baptist Church. Aunt Laura had a one- 
track mind, and one hot August night after supper they were all sitting on the 
porch rocking and fanning and talking about the cicadas (those late summer 
insects that sing so loudly). Well, the Baptist choir next door was practicing. 
(Now, remember Aunt Laura had a one-track mind.) The conversation 
changed to the really good voices in the Baptist choir, especially the new tenor, 
and Aunt Laura, still thinking about cicadas, interrupted and said, "You know 
they make that noise by rubbing their back legs together." (Incidentally, we say 
our family emblem is the peacock. The peacock may not have eaten for three 
days, but he's still proud!) 

We in this "goodliest land" set great store, too, in our courage. Whether 
it is the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the two World Wars, the Korean, 
Vietnam, or Gulf War, or those wars in between, we remember who from our 
families served, and we relate with great pride the tales of their courage — even 
if, and sometimes especially if — they died in the effort. The submarine CSS 
Hun/efs recovery has intrigued the entire world. The last male member of my 
mama's father's family was beheaded in Manila by the Japanese for refusing to 
salute the Japanese flag. He informed the Japanese commander that he'd not 
salute their flag until it was flying over the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (We 
do have a little trouble in our family with "smart mouths.") We love the 
"characters" in our families. Aunt Bessie was a super bridge player. She never 
really had the opportunity to play tournament bridge or she would have been 
a Life Master with all sorts of points. She told me very seriously that if I ever 



THE GOODUEST LAND 9 

thought she might be dead, to shuffle the cards, and if she didn't take a hand, 
she was dead. And you know, when she died, I had to clasp my hands together 
not to do just that. When a Wilson County lady, herself a real full-time bridge 
player, died several years ago (this, too, is a true story), her children discussed 
it and buried her holding a seven no-trump hand. She went out smiling 
beautifully. 

I really relate to Hilary Clinton's book It Takes a T Ullage because in my 
little hometown of Faison, everyone did help raise me. Mama said she'd be 
forever grateful to the WPA for helping raise my brother. They were building 
a road in front of our house and the WPA workmen moved like molasses in 
the cold wintertime, so she'd put my little brother out after breakfast and 
they'd nurse him 'til dinner (it was "dinner" in the middle of the day in Faison), 
and, after dinner and his wee nap, out he'd go again 'til dark or "supper," 
whichever came first. (It was an experimental cotton-seed highway; that didn't 
work too well, but the WPA was a Godsend!) There was that sense of 
place — of belonging — and we all looked after each other. All the children, 
black and white, played together. We'd choose up sides at the beginning of the 
summer and play all sorts of outdoor games 'til fall and school began again. 
We belonged to each other and we fought and played and laughed and rejoiced 
in our friends' good fortune. Faison is a loving place, and we cared — still 
do — about each other. It's small, but it has that sense of place, of family roots, 
of belonging (as does Wilson) that makes this the "goodliest land" so 
wonderful. 

Every North Carolina town is full of interesting people, "goodliest 
people." We are very proud of our Faison astronaut, Dr. William Thornton. 
When he took his first space flight, 140 folks from Faison (population 700+) 
went to Cape Kennedy to see him off. We loved Mrs. Esther Cates, our Girl 
Scout leader, who during World War II would take us up on the little ledge 
around our town's water tank to observe and learn to identify the many types 
of aircraft coming in and out of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base about 
twenty miles away. One day a blimp went by and one of the girl scouts yelled, 
"one submarine, flying low." 

There are great people in my present hometown of Wilson. Many of 
them are here tonight, and their stories are fascinating. Two of the folks who 
have given me the most opportunities are Governor Jim and Carolyn Hunt. 
My life has provided many opportunities. I loved Faison High School and 
Saint Mary's School, where my grandmother and her six sisters went. (Great- 
aunt Sarah was there in 1865, when the Yankee troops were camped in the 
front yard. Imagine that before email — if your daughter was there and you 
weren't!) 

After Saint Mary's, most of us transferred to Carolina — you had to 
transfer as a junior then — a place so dear to me and many of you in this room, 
and where many of us became lifelong friends. One, my great friend, Lila 
Ponder Friday, was married to the late Judge John Friday, who always said, "I 
married a Ponder when holding court in Madison County." After Carolina, I 
went to graduate school at Columbia University, where my father was pursuing 



10 BETTY RAY McCAIN 

his Ph.D. When the stock market crashed in 1929, he had to come home. 
Five of us went together. There were also Caroline Hassinger Lindsey; a dear 
friend, Graham Newton, who lived half a block from us in Faison and who 
was in Cornell University Medical College near the United Nations; and a 
beloved cousin, Dr. John A. Oates of Fayetteville, also in medical school. 

Don't you just love this "goodliest land" and especially eastern North 
Carolina and all the multiple connections of our "goodliest people"? In the 
summer, I shepherded groups around Europe and had a glorious time. My 
tour groups were almost all teachers, who could be reaccredited by our 
program, or college students, who earned college credits. Many of my teachers 
were older, and we tried to show them lots of things. So, I took them all to the 
Folks Bergere in Paris. I sat by Mrs. Farrior (one of Betsy Buford's distant 
cousins by marriage), and I offered her my opera glasses. She stiffened 
perceptibly and told me, "No, I can see quite enough without them!" Some of 
the folks in Faison thought we were looney. They thought you didn't go 
overseas unless the U.S. Army sent you. 

In 1953, after I received my master's degree in music education, I 
came back to Carolina as assistant director of the Y, which then housed both 
the Young Women's Christian Association and the older YMCA. In the 
building at that time was a life-sized bust of Governor Zeb Vance — why, I 
haven't a notion. After I left the staff, the bust disappeared — again, a mystery. 
Then, a few years ago, John and Ann Sanders were having dinner with Jim and 
Carolyn Turner in Greensboro. Carolyn reported that on a recent morning, 
when she went to the front porch to pick up the morning paper, she found a 
large cardboard box. Inside was a black head — fortunately, of plaster. Their 
son claimed it as a trophy. Upon examination, John observed that the subject 
was Zeb Vance. It carried no identifying mark except that it was a "Gift of the 
Class of 1899," donee not specified. Battle's History of the University of North 
Carolina conveniently recorded the class gift of the Vance bust to the 
University. In the next fifty years, it migrated from the custody of the library 
to that of the Y. And how did it get to the Turners' front porch? Most likely, 
some prankster stole it in mid-century and after several decades, prodded by 
a bad conscience, anonymously entrusted it to the Turners in the confidence 
that it would find its way back to Carolina. Thanks to the Turners and 
Sanderses, it did so and now occupies an honored place in the North Carolina 
Collection Gallery in Wilson Library. We are all excited that the Y Building is 
now being restored and will continue to be a great meeting and activities 
center. 

I met my beloved John McCain at Chapel Hill, where he was a 
resident in internal medicine. (John's family is all of Scottish descent. He said 
their favorite call in football was "Get that quarter back.") He was raised at 
McCain Hospital, named for his father. It was a big TB hospital, now a prison 
hospital. His mother, "Grandma" Sadie McBrayer McCain, was an original 
member of the Tryon Palace Commission. At the dedication of the palace we 
invited Mr. Scalamandre to sit with us before we knew he had done all of the 
textile hangings in the palace! 



THE GOODUEST LAND 1 1 

We have loved living in Wilson. Until recently it was the largest bright 
leaf tobacco market in the world, and in the days when the cigarette 
competition was between Players (a British brand) and Old Rhodesia (now 
Zambia), you could find out about any country in the world by asking a friend 
who was a tobacconist. They'd been everywhere in the world. When we were 
in Beijing, my John told me to go down the hotel corridor to the first meeting 
room. When I asked why, he just said, "Go see what's there." I did — and 
there were our Wilson tobacconists "drumming" (up business) as hard as they 
could. I asked them, "What in the world are y'all doing here?" They all 
answered, "We're drumming, but why aieyou here?" 

As I've told you, I hail from Duplin County originally and there we 
raise more hogs than any place but Iowa. Now, the hogs are in trouble 
because of pollution. And in my current home in Wilson, tobacco, once our 
chief money crop, is in serious trouble because of health problems caused by 
smoking. So, we must solve both of these challenging dilemmas, and I think 
I've got the answer. I say we teach the pigs to smoke, then sell smoked 
sausage to every Yankee that comes up or down 1-95! 

When Governor Hunt and Carolyn came home to Wilson from 
Nepal, where the governor had worked for two years as an agricultural advisor 
and Carolyn had taught a class of children from many countries and cultures, 
our political work really began. We had all worked in Terry Sanford's 
campaign in 1960 and in L. Richardson Preyer's campaign in 1964 (with many 
of you), but now we went to work again and Jim Hunt was elected president 
of the Young Democrats of North Carolina. Then we worked and elected 
Charlie Winberry to the job. Both of our children helped, even when they 
were so small they had to hand "up" campaign literature. I ran for and was 
elected to the UNC Board of Governors in 1975, the first of my four terms. 
Trish Hunt sponsored me the first time, and the great General Assembly in 
this "goodliest land" elected me. I served with giants like Bill Dees, Victor 
Bryant, Watts Hill, Sr. (whose father came from Faison), and many near and 
dear friends throughout the years. Bill Friday was by then university president 
with Felix Joyner in charge of finance and Ray Dawson in charge of academics. 
To see those three and their great teams work the legislature was pure poetry! 
The "goodliest people" were and are amazing. 

When Governor Hunt asked me about serving on the ABC, I thought 
he meant the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. I told him I knew a lot about 
non-tax-paid liquor but very little about the tax paid stuff. After he told me 
that ABC meant the Advisory Budget Commission, I called Bill Friday and 
asked his advice. He said, "Take it! Take it!" I was delighted to serve as the 
first woman on the commission, and I learned so much more about our 
"goodliest land." I had already visited all sixteen campuses in our great 
university system, and now we visited everything else that the state funded — all 
of the historic sites, all the prisons (including Old Craggy), the mental 
hospitals, remote state parks — you name it, we went there. 

I know this "goodliest land" and our "goodliest people," and I am so 
blessed. I had traveled extensively as State Democratic Party chairman from 



12 BETTY KAY McCAIN 

1976 to 1979 as well and saw the great value of competent, honorable, hard- 
working political leaders — and we have them in North Carolina. Of course, we 
had our share of funny moments. The Democratic Party believes in fairness 
and equality, and during my tenure as state chair we, on the Democratic 
National Committee, voted for "equal division" — equal numbers of men and 
women on all our state and county committees. So I wrote to all one hundred 
county chairmen for a list of their officers "broken down by sex." Ninety-nine 
county chairs dutifully sent their lists to headquarters, but I didn't hear from 
one of our far eastern counties whose chair had always been prompt. As the 
deadline neared when I had to report to the DNC, I finally called him and 
asked him just to give me over the phone the list of his officers "broken down 
by sex." He kind of hesitated and then said, "Miss Betty, we met and talked 
about it and so far as we can tell, none of 'em are broken down by sex but 
three of 'em do drink right bad." 

Another time in a tight national election (John F. Kennedy's run), one 
of our best precinct workers was helping a blind, straight-ticket Democrat vote 
his ticket as always (they were still using paper ballots). The man announced, 
"I ain't gonna vote for no Yankee Catholic." The precinct worker, without 
missing a beat, said, "Well, then, let's just cross him off as she placed an "X" 
by the straight Democratic ticket. And then there was the 1984 campaign 
against Jesse Helms when we were called everything but a "child of God." 

When Governor Hunt ran and won his third term in 1 992, he asked 
me to serve in his cabinet in 1993 and again four years later. I had the best of 
all possible worlds. I worked all across our "goodliest land" with the 
"goodliest people" everywhere. Betsy Buford was my able, hard-working, and 
knowledgeable deputy secretary. We were assisted by Kelli Barham and the 
wonderful employees of the North Carolina Department of Cultural 
Resources. If you all from the Department of Cultural Resources will stand 
or wave your hand, let me tell you again what great jobs you do and what fine 
results you achieve. North Carolina is a treasure trove of talent and skill, of 
creativity and culture, of history, of music — and of characters of great interest. 

We completed our state library system by bringing in Warren County 
and raising much-needed funds statewide. We expanded Arts Council 
programming in all one hundred counties and initiated a cultural exchange with 
nearly forty venues across our state and in the nation of Israel. We were 
blessed by the generosity of the General Assembly to receive over $25 million 
in special grant money which benefitted the arts, history, and cultural 
organizations across the state; and we worked closely with UNC-TV to film 
the Museum of Art's blockbuster exhibitions and various events at the 
Museum of History. With the state of Virginia, we wrote and received a grant 
from the National Endowment for the Arts that we matched with state funds 
to do a big project on mountain music; and with the state of Tennessee, 
another on Cherokee Indian heritage and historic and sacred sites. 

We built the great new North Carolina Museum of History (now the 
fifth most visited cultural venue in our state). The Museum of History now 
encompasses seven museums statewide, including three maritime museums 



THE GOODLIEST LAND 13 

acquired from the Department of Agriculture. The Museum of the Albemarle 
was begun and has recently been opened with great joy; the State Capitol was 
restored with private help, and the ghosts there and the current occupants are 
delighted. Catherine Bishir and Michael Southern wrote their marvelous three- 
volume Guide to the Historic Architecture of North Carolina. All of the state historic 
sites did great programming and worked hard and successfully to increase 
historic tourism. North Carolina's copy of the Bill of Right, stolen by a 
Yankee soldier in 1865, resurfaced and then disappeared again, then in a 
dramatic sting operation was recovered and returned to North Carolina. 
Whoever said history is dull did not live in the "goodliest land!" With the help 
of John Sanders and generous friends of the University of North Carolina, we 
acquired for Halifax State Historic Site the home of William R. Davie, the great 
Revolutionary patriot, governor, and founder of the first state university. We 
acquired the last six acres on the Trent River contiguous with Tryon Palace 
and are hard at work changing the old Barbour Boat Works into a history 
center and wetlands reserve to augment and interpret the Tryon Palace 
Historic Sites and Gardens. And the list goes on. All of you have helped. 
You are the "goodliest people" in our "goodliest land"! 

The North Carolina Symphony's beautiful Meymandi Hall was built 
and the fine acoustics were funded by our good and faithful friends in the 
General Assembly; and a dynamic new conductor/music director, Grant 
Llewellyn, has since been employed. At the North Carolina Museum of Art, 
the sculptures of the French sculptor Rodin came to great acclaim and drew 
a huge audience, and we settled claims and "legally" acquired a donated 
painting of a Madonna that turned out to have been stolen from Vienna by the 
Gestapo — a fascinating tale (thank you, John Coffey). 

Our proud battleship North Carolina — a memorial to the 10,000 North 
Carolinians who lost their lives in our fight for freedom — celebrated with great 
fanfare and marvelous fireworks the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World 
War II. Margaret Truman came. It was glorious! I am glad that the captain 
of the North Carolina, David R. Scheu, Jr., and his wife, Debbie, and the 
chairman of the Battleship Commission, Norwood Bryan, and his wife, Man 7 
Lynn Bryan, are in the audience. Fort Fisher was restored just in time to 
survive Hurricanes Fran and Floyd. We began work to celebrate the one 
hundredth anniversary of flight. 

And finally, we are surev/e've found Blackbeard's ship, Queen Anne 's 
Revenge that went down in Beaufort Inlet in June 1718. Dr. Jerry Cashion 
(chairman of the North Carolina Historical Commission) said he really wasn't 
going to believe it was Blackbeard's ship until we found a plate that read 
"Blackbeard — His Plate." Well, Thornton Mitchell went out and paid a dollar 
for a plate, smeared it up, scratched on it "Blackbeard — His Plate," and now 
I think Dr. Cashion is a true believer. They've already recovered (besides many 
of the cannons) the syringe with the medicine Blackbeard had just stolen in 
Charleston and the gold dust he stole from a captured Charlestonian. Queen 
Anne's Revenge was originally Ea Concorde, a French slave ship captured by 
Blackbeard. [Note: Since I made this talk in April 2006, divers have brought 



14 BETTY RAY McCAIN 

up slave irons, boosting our confidence in the identification of the historic 
ship.] 

What glorious and good things happen in our "goodliest land" 
because of each of you! Thank you. 

We can't close — and I know it's time — without mentioning religion 
in our "goodliest land." 

We were Episcopalians. We didn't split during the Civil War like most 
Protestant denominations. There weren't enough of us to "fall out" with each 
other. My mama said she was the only sexton in the Episcopal communion 
who was married to the senior warden of the vestry. We have all known many 
preachers and priests in our lives; just look at Billy Graham, Martin Luther 
King, Jr., Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, our great and much loved bishops, 
priests, monsignors, and rabbis — and the Reverend Mr. James Sprunt, who 
spread Calvinism across eastern North Carolina as he founded Presbyterian 
churches. I used to love to sneak out to listen to the tent preachers and see 
who came to the mourner's bench to swear off smoking and drinking and all 
sorts of things. (Sometime I saw some of them later poking in the grass to find 
their "sworn off cigarettes.) And, the revivals were something to hear and 
behold. Yes, religion is a huge part of our "goodliest land." Our Jewish 
friends were not numerous but were a vital part of our Southern culture — still 
are. It is claimed that Mr. Bloomingdale, a founder of the store of the same 
name, was one of our pre-Civil War postmasters in Faison. When the war 
clouds began to gather, he had "no dog in that fight" and fled to Philadelphia 
and on to New York. We also had a number of Roman Catholics in our little 
town. Mama and I had an audience once with Pope Pius XII, and Mama, who 
taught the fourth grade for many years, was loaded down with sacred medals 
for the Holy Father to bless for her wee Catholic students. They loved them! 

Some of my funniest memories are of things that happened when I 
was growing up and playing the piano for various churches. (You don't have 
to be good if you're free.) Once the groom fainted at the altar and I had to 
play everything twice till he revived. And the funerals, but we've already talked 
about those. There was one funeral in Wilson during the Vietnam War with 
rifle salutes at the end. When the guns went off, the dead boy's granny fainted 
and his little nephew yelled, "Good God, they shot Granny!" Yes, religion and 
our religious services are a bigpatt of our "goodliest land." 

In closing, thank you for letting me tell some of my stories about our 
"goodliest land" and her people and about my journey through the years. 
Thank you all Tor making my life an interesting and fulfilling one and for your 
cherished, treasured friendships. But we can't quit now, for as Confucius said, 
"They who rest on their laurels are wearing them in the wrong place." 

I ask you, then, to remember the words of John Gardner, founder of 
Common Cause: 

A nation is never finished. You can 't build it and then leave it standing as the 
Pharaohs did the pyramids. It has to be built and rebuilt. It has to be recreated in each 
generation by believing caring men and women. 



THE GOODLIEST LAND 15 

It is now our turn. If we don 't believe or don 't care, nothing can save the Nation. 
If we believe and care, nothing can stop us. 

Thank you and Godspeed. 




Betty McCain with Her Family 




Bland Simpson, Master of Ceremonies 



PART II 



Tributes to Betty Kay McCain 

by 

Bland Simpson 

Elizabeth Farrior Buford 

Eloise McCain Hassell 

Paul P. McCain 

Willis P. Whichard 



Delivered at a Banquet Honoring Betty Ray McCain on Her Acceptance 

of the North Caroliniana Society Award, William and Ida Friday Center, 

Chapel Hill, 20 April 2006 



Introductory Remarks 

Bland Simpson 



[President Willis P. Whichard opened the evening with a welcome and an explanation that, 
after serving as master of ceremonies during the Society 's first thirty years, Dr. H. G. Jones 
preferred to join the crowd and enjoy "The Betty McCain Show" this year, yielding the 
podium to Professor Bland Simpson, head of the Creative WritingProgram at the University 
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill] 

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, "statriots" all, and welcome to 
the 2006 gathering of the North Caroliniana Society and the presentation of 
this year's North Caroliniana Society Award. I would like to thank Secretary 
Jones and President Whichard for asking me to help with these proceedings, 
a true surprise as well as a thoroughgoing honor, and to begin by invoking the 
name and spirit of a great Carolinian, Judge William Gaston, who gave us our 
state song, with its lyric: "Hurrah, hurrah, the Old North State forever . . . 
hurrah, hurrah, the good Old North State." Whether you hold with those who 
believe Judge Gaston heard the song's melody from a troupe of Swiss 
bellringers performing outside his office window in Raleigh or with those who 
think he heard that air at a concert the bellringers gave, either way, we are all 
united behind the honest devotion and enthusiasm of that great chorus. 

A grand hurrah and welcome to all the former winners of the North 
Caroliniana Society Award — their names are on the back of the program — and 
let us take this moment to recognize and to make a special, early happy- 
birthday wish to one of them, the First Lady of Music in North Carolina, who 
on May 7 th will celebrate her 103 rd birthday, Maxine Swalin. She is sitting 
tonight with trustees of the North Carolina Symphony, which she and her late 
husband, Dr. Benjamin F. Swalin, founded more than a half century ago. 

As H. G. Jones has stated, "For those who are unfamiliar with the 
North Caroliniana Society, that's the way we like it, for our motto is 
'Substance, not Show.' Our award banquets are not advertised to the public; 
there was no news release on tonight's events; all because we want our awards 
to be presented in the presence of family and friends." 

This evening's proceedings, including this afternoon's address, will be 
published in the fall in a North Caroliniana Society Imprint, and a copy will be 
mailed to those in attendance tonight. 

Our honoree this evening, Betty Ray McCain, is one of the most 
energetic, generous, and creative public figures of our time, or any time — and 
one so effective because she has almost intuitively married her astonishing 
theatricality, tending toward humor, with her deep, serious, and abiding 
concerns about every area of our state's public life and policies — concerns for 
our arts and letters, our cultural resources and their protection and 
preservation, our systems of education and health affairs, and on and on. 



THE GOODLIEST LAND 19 

Closing his introduction of her at a celebration of the Southern Oral 
History Program at Carolina several years ago, Bill Friday observed that "Betty 
Ray McCain also has something of an interest in politics." (Now, attribution 
in politics is all important, so I want to ask you to recall what you heard this 
afternoon.) To which Betty responded, "Something of an interest!?! Well, I 
can tell you that when I die, I hope to be buried up in Madison County, so I 
can keep right on voting after I'm dead!" This longterm political plan, 
Madisonian democracy, may just be unbeatable. 

Our first of three speakers this evening is Elizabeth Farrior Buford, 
who holds a B.A. in history from the University of North Carolina at 
Greensboro, and is director of the North Carolina Museum of History and 
director of the Division of State History Museums. During the third and 
fourth administrations of Governor Jim Hunt, Betsy was the Deputy Secretary 
of the Department of Cultural Resources, the Secretary at that time being Betty 
Ray McCain — an opportunity for which she says she will always be grateful to 
Governor Hunt. And to Betty Ray — "it was fabulous working for and with 
her," Betsy says. "It was a constant humanities workshop — she kept me on 
my toes with questions like 'What's that thing in Romeo and Juliet?' or 'How 
many legions did the Roman army have?'" 

Their forebears had adjoining plantations in Duplin County, but Betsy 
and Betty Ray did not know each other until both attended, in the early 1970s, 
a People of Faith for Equal Rights Amendment march in Raleigh. "As genteel 
as Betty is," says Betsy, "we really met on the street." 

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Elizabeth Farrior Buford. 

[Ms. Buford "s remarks begin on page 21. J 

Mary Eloise McCain Hassell, daughter of Betty Ray and Dr. John 
Lewis McCain, holds a B.A. in history from the University of North Carolina 
at Chapel Hill and aJ.D. from Wake Forest University's School of Law. She 
teaches law in the Bryan School of Business at the University of North 
Carolina at Greensboro. 

Her mother identified one pattern in Eloise's life that might be best 
described as "attorney by day, thespian by night." 

There was a time when she worked for the Dare County attorney in 
the daytime and understudied Mark Basnight's mother, Cora Mae Basnight, as 
"Agona" in The Tost Colony. 

There was a time when she was the assistant public defender in 
Greenville by day and appeared in a play in Bath as the mother-in-law of 
Blackbeard the Pirate. She told Betty Ray that she had no lines, but that, since 
her daughter in the show was married to such a mean, mistreating rogue, "All 
I did was cry all the time." 

In high school Eloise ran track and was third in the state, a feat of 
which Betty Ray remarks, "She didn't get that from me!" 

There was no girls' track team in high school, so she ran on the boys' 
team. At a race one October day, with both her mother and grandmother 



20 BETTY RAY McCAIN 

looking on, she came in first. Betty Ray remembers, "My mother-in-law was 
there — she couldn't see much, but she saw that, and she asked, 'Why are all 
those boys chasing Eloise?'" 

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Mary Eloise McCain Hassell. 

Ms. Has sell's remarks begin on page 25.] 

Paul Pressly McCain, III, son of Betty Ray and John McCain, holds 
a B.A. from North Carolina State University, an M.S. in construction from 
Stanford, and an M.B.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill. A resident of Raleigh, he is 
a consulting civil engineer whose work takes him about North and South 
Carolina, Georgia, and well beyond. His projects have included a five-star 
hotel in Egypt. 

He taught civil engineering at N.C. State for thirteen years and still 
maintains that relationship — he is an adjunct professor and is working with 
State on special projects also involving Georgia Tech. Betty Ray says, "Paul 
has had more adventures than anybody you've ever seen in your life." 

In his boyhood, when the McCains lived near Little Hominy Creek, 
Paul came home all muddy one day and asked his mother, "If my tricycle falls 
in the creek again, will you help me?" "I had to lie down," says Betty Ray. 

When she disciplined him when he was younger, Paul would retort, 
"Dracula lives, Dracula lives!" 

Betty Ray says "He's very good company and he can fix anything. We 
say if Paul can't fix it, we have to throw it away." 

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Paul Pressly McCain, III. 

[Mr. McCain's remarks begin on page 28. J 



Betty Kay McCain: 
Carolina s Cultural Warrior 

Elizabeth Farrior Buford 




Betty Ray McCain's 
intelligence, dedication, energy, and 
love for her family, extended family, 
state, and university make for a 
remarkable and larger-than-life force. 
It is an honor to say a few words 
about her this evening. Because she 
is one of the funniest human beings 
on this earth, her hard work, courage, 
and tough-minded commitment to 
enlightened public policy are often 
forgotten because she makes her 
work seem so effordess. Prime 
Minister Itzhak Rabin asked me when 
we met him during a trade mission to 
Israel, "Is she always this wonderful?" 
I simply replied, "Yes, sir!" 

Her energy is legendary. Tonight I just want to share one of many 
examples. At one point in the nineties, a legislator schemed to terminate 
state funding for the North Carolina Symphony. Knowing that, Secretary 
McCain, Banks Talley, and I sat in the legislative gallery for three days and 
three nights in a very long session. At 3:00 one morning, the Speaker of the 
House announced that we would have a four-hour break, to reconvene at 
7:00 A.M. I went home and slept in my clothes on top of my bed, washed 
my face, brushed my teeth, and returned in four hours. Most of the people 
in the gallery went through a similar regime. Not McCain! "Lead-foot" had 
driven to Wilson, had a snack and visit with her beloved Dr. John, bathed, 
and changed clothes. She then went to a dawn appointment at Kountry 
Kurls Beauty Salon (a Hollywood script writer could not make this up). 
While she was at Kountry Kurls, anticipating a victory, she wrote "thank 
you" notes to key legislators for their work in saving the North Carolina 
Symphony. 

Tonight I want to talk about Mimi, Betty Ray, Boss, and Secretary 
McCain, as a cultural warrior. Warriors are tough, passionate, determined, 
and hands-on — such was Betty Ray when she served for eight years as 
Governor Jim Hunt's Secretary of Cultural Resources. She continues today 
in the same manner, serving on the Tryon Palace Commission and 
championing preservation projects in Faison, Wilson, and Halifax. (Her 



22 BETTY RAY McCAIN 

focus in Halifax is on William R. Davie's home.) But of course, much of 
her life's work has not been in working for the cultural resources of the 
state; there are many other venues in which she has excelled. Just to name a 
few: 

•The law establishing organ donations was drafted at her kitchen 
table; 

•She served as campaign manager for James B. Hunt's successful 
runs for governor in 1976 and 1980; 

•She managed Hunt's unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate in 1984; 

•In Hunt's successful runs for governor in the 1990s, she organized 
the counties throughout the state; 

•She was chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party and a 
member of the National Democratic Committee; 

•She was the first woman on the Advisory Budget Commission; 

•She served on many medical auxiliary positions at the state and 
national levels; 

•She was a major champion for the passage of the Equal Rights 
Amendment; 

•A proponent for clean air, clear water, and green spaces, some of 
her happiest "volunteer" hours have been spent working with her dear 
friend, Hugh Morton; 

•Today she is raising funds for the Lineberger Cancer Hospital and 
the North Carolina Lung Association. 

Secretary McCain's love of history, her sense of self, and her grit 
are informed by her knowledge of and love for her family's history. 
Ancestors and relatives fought on the winning side in 1066 and the wars of 
the twentieth century; but in between, her people were not usually so 
fortunate. The Rays fled England after the English Civil War and in 1652 
settled in the "goodliest soile" of Carolina; her French Huguenot Faisons 
escaped France after revocation of the Edict of Nantes; the Perretts and the 
Cogdells arrived later — one of the latter married into the family of John 
Wright Stanly of New Bern. The defeat of the Highland Scots supporting 
Bonnie Prince Charlie at Culloden Moor in 1746, as well as the savagery of 
Gettysburg and Bentonville, are not distant, remote events, but parts of 
family as well as public history encountered through the many volumes she 
has devoured over the years. She knows who was there and what happened 
to them. And she remembers special dates a little differently from others; 
on any July Fourth she will remind you that Federal cavalry destroyed a 
Confederate arms factory in Kenansville on that date in 1863. 

Being with her for any extended period of time places you in an 
extended Humanities course. Amidst the mind-numbing tasks of budget 
preparations, she would often stop and inquire: "Sugah, how many legions 
did the Romans have in Britain?" At other times I was saved by my 
knowledge of Shakespeare. Much of this wide ranging and inquiring mind 
came from her parents. Her father was a brilliant county lawyer celebrated 
for his story-telling ability. Her mother was an inspiring teacher. Linda 



THE GOODLIEST LAND 23 

Flowers, in her book Throwed Away, remembered the encouragement she 
received early from Mrs. Ray who told young Linda, "You can be anything 
you want to be!" One of my greatest pleasures was to have introduced Dr. 
Flowers to Secretary McCain at an annual meeting of the North Carolina 
Literary and Historical Association after Linda had proved that promise! 

As a cultural warrior, Betty Ray McCain called upon many of her 
college friends to assist her when she was Secretary of Cultural Resources. 
John Sanders continued his leadership on behalf of the State Capitol; Banks 
Talley was already at the North Carolina Symphony, and they worked 
together to hire more musicians and to plan a state-of-the-art facility in 
Meymandi Hall. She got Al Adams to chair the North Carolina Battleship 
Commission and Lila Ponder Friday to chair the State Library Commission. 
She asked Charles Winston, in the class behind her at UNC, to chair the 
new Museum of History Building Committee. She worked with her good 
friend, Bill Friday, on the Clarence Poe Home and countless other projects. 
In 2002, she loved serving as president of the UNC Alumni Association, 
crossing the state on behalf of the university. She felt she owed the 
University of North Carolina more than loyalty, for it had given her an 
education and good friends — and it also allowed her to meet the love of her 
life. While attending the First Presbyterian Church with Lila Ponder, Betty 
tripped over a guy- wire and into John Lewis McCain with whom she lived a 
remarkable life of service and joy. You will hear from the brilliant offspring 
of that relationship later this evening. John's mother was active in public 
service and had served as vice-chair of the state Democratic Party in 1945. 
He was comfortable with strong women! 

Betty could recruit allies in her culture wars from old acquaintances 
beyond the university as well as new. She and Julia Jones — now 
Daniels — were debutantes the same year. Julia became the founding 
mother of the North Carolina Museum of History Associates and a valued 
supporter of the North Carolina Museum of Art. Betty even found 
Republicans to help her at various times: Tom Roberg was a great ally in 
helping obtain funds for the acoustics in Meymandi Hall, and Senator Jesse 
Helms's aid was crucial to the installation of a revetment at Fort Fisher. 
She embraced any and all who would assist her in fighting for national and 
international projects for First Flight and the Israeli/North Carolina 
Cultural Exchange. She worked hardest, however, at the local level for 
libraries, historic sites, and museums. She lobbied for state preservation tax 
credits, not merely to sustain grand homes of the few, but cottages, 
bungalows, and farms in rural North Carolina and older homes in inner 
cities. She embraced the saving of the smallest tobacco barn with great 
enthusiasm. Once, when she was trying to get a special grant (i.e., pork 
dollars) for a local project in a particular eastern North Carolina county, I 
asked her, "What in the world is in B- - - - -?" She replied, "Three 
precincts!" 

Her bad luck and the state's good fortune was to have her serve as 
Secretary of Cultural Resources when the state's economy was in great peril. 



24 BETTY RAY McCAIN 

It is wonderful to think what she could have accomplished in flush times. 
You will recall the Hurricanes Fran and Floyd of the late 1990s which 
ravaged the state — everything seemed to be at risk. At one point we were 
summoned to cut our budgets — the demands were draconian. Secretary 
McCain cheerfully explained the great work which each division of the 
department did for our citizens. When she finished, the man in charge said, 
"Ladies, I'm sorry. You are going to have to get over this — our cuts stand!" 
Her eyes narrowed; everyone around the table stopped breathing. Then in 
a flash, she smiled and began to speak in a gentle tone and steady cadence 
worthy of lazy summer day conversations among friends on the front 
porch. She said to the moderator: "Did you know that Betsy's great- 
grandmother Bryan was General George Pickett's sister?" People began to 
relax, but I did not. "After the debacle of Pickett's charge, he was 
devastated with the loss of so many men and boys. General Lee told him to 
see to his division." Quickly, she turned to me and whispered, "Betsy, what 
did Pickett say?" 

"Sir, I have no division!" 

Betty continued: "Do you want the destruction of these wonderful 
divisions in the Department of Cultural Resources to be your legacy?" She 
pointed her finger at each person: "Do not destroy my divisions! If you do, 
I will make certain everyone knows your shameful legacy." With that, the 
moderator managed a faint smile and said, "You win; your proposed cuts 
will be accepted; ours are off the table. Just please leave this room." And 
we did. 

President Bowles, on May 15, the University of North Carolina's 
new faculty bus tour will stop at William R. Davie's home in Halifax and be 
met by John Sanders, local dignitaries, and you-know-who. I am certain the 
refreshments will be delicious, and the stop will be marked by laughter and 
good conversation. The faculty will undoubtedly come away with an 
appreciation for William R. Davie and this great public university. Back in 
the bus, someone will probably say that that was a Hooft Others will quietly 
commit themselves to supporting the restoration efforts at Davie's home. 
They will all have encountered Betty Ray McCain, North Carolina's beloved 
Cultural Warrior. 



The Daughter's Tribute 



Eloise McCain Hassell 




Thank you, H. G. Jones, 
Bland Simpson, and you, too, Dean 
Whichard, for your remarks and for 
putting together this wonderful 
occasion each year. Thanks, also, to 
sweet Betsy Buford for what you've 
had to say this evening. The 
thoughtfulness and affection you 
have extended to my mom and to our 
whole family over these many years 
has demonstrated to all of us the true 
meaning of friendship. And, of 
course, I'd like to thank the North 
Caroliniana Society for allowing my 
brother Paul and me the opportunity 
to share our thoughts with you and to 
express our gratitude for placing my 

mom in such esteemed Tar Heel company with the likes of Hugh Morton, 
John Hope Franklin, John Sanders, and our beloved Bill and Ida Friday. 

Above my mom's office desk is a framed rubbing of a gravestone 
that was given to her at conclusion of a hard fought (but unsuccessful) 
effort to get the Equal Rights Amendment passed in the North Carolina 
Legislature. It reads, "She hath done what she could"! What an apt 
summary of my Renaissance mom's efforts! No less an authority than Alan 
Alda once wrote to her and declared her to be "the funniest woman in 
America!" As we all know, far beyond her famous wit and humor, she hath 
done what she could to use her unending energy, enthusiasm, charm, 
knowledge, and hard work to make this world a better place. Thank you for 
acknowledging her contributions to North Carolina's history and culture. 

A prime motivating force in our family tree has been an 
appreciation of the value of education and the joy that comes with 
educating others. Mom, as you know, was raised in Duplin County. Her 
father, Horace T. Ray, was raised in the mountains of Yancey County. He 
and his uncle were named for educators: Horace for the Roman poet and 
his uncle for the philosopher Plato. H. T. was able to attend the Asheville 
boarding school only because he got a scholarship as "a poor mountain boy 
with promise." The total amount of financial help he was able to receive 
from home was $20; yet he went on to obtain an undergraduate, law, and 
master's degree from Wake Forest and UNC, and only the Great 



26 BETTY RAY McCAIN 

Depression prevented him from completing his doctoral work at Columbia 
University in New York. 

Before his lengthy legal career as Duplin's version of Atticus Finch, 
H. T. Ray was a math teacher and principal in the Duplin County school 
system. It was there that he met a talented young teacher, Mary Perrett, 
whose Huguenot ancestors had settled in the town of Faison. A few 
decades earlier, Mary's father, Senator Thomas Perrett, had introduced 
legislation to create the public school in Faison, and Mary treated herself to 
summers between school terms polishing her teaching credentials through 
the State Normal and Industrial College (that's "W.C." to some of you and 
"UNC G" to my students now). 

As my mom grew up, she clearly had inherited Mary's sense of 
learning, nurturing, and giving back, so that by the time she was Faison 
High School's 1948 valedictorian (in a class size of 11 students), townsfolk 
could easily remark, "She sure is her mother's daughter." Mary continued 
to teach during the years of World War II and continued well into the 
1950s. She helped put my mom through St. Mary's, then Carolina, and then 
on to Columbia, where my mom obtained a master's degree in music 
education. 

Mom has left her own family legacy as well with the help of my 
dad, Dr. John McCain. During the last few years both have successfully 
gotten funding for Dad's Internet Empowerment Project by putting 
donated computers, donated internet service, and trained volunteers in our 
local nursing homes to help those physically failing stay mentally sharp. 
Both my parents have always said, "The one thing that no one can take 
away from you is an education!" With their loving support and 
encouragement to shoot for the stars, both my brother and I continue to be 
life-long learners, and both of us have had the honor of getting to spread 
the joy of learning at both N.C. State and at UNC Greensboro for more 
than a decade. 

Just as we've never stopped learning, Mom has never stopped her 
education. The grandchildren are working on her not being "road kill on 
the information highway." Mom shares with all her love of North 
Carolina's history and culture, whether through her tenure as Secretary of 
Cultural Resources, in politics, in church, or on her countless boards at the 
local, state, and national level. Family holidays find us at historic sites like 
Williamsburg and the Lost Colony in Manteo. She never wastes a moment 
with her five practically perfect grandchildren: Elizabeth, Molly, Emily, 
Bayly, and John. She "hath done what she could" to create with them 
teachable moments. 

Her love for UNC is no less evident, from her early service through 
the Campus Y to the UNC Board of Governors to being chair of the board 
of the General Alumni Association. As with tonight's recognition, her 
experiences have been their own reward, although UNC has seen fit to 
bestow on her awards for distinguished service as well as an honorary 
doctorate to complement her Class of '52 diploma. 



THE GOODLIEST LAND 27 

For me, my mother is my role model. Through her love of history, 
I was inspired to be a history major here at Chapel Hill. In my post as 
president of the Undergraduate History Association I had the joy and honor 
to get to work with distinguished and beloved Professor William Powell. 
Through her parents' twin loves of law and teaching, I have been fortunate 
to become an attorney, mediator, and full time teacher of the law at the 
university level. 

In his inaugural address last week at UNC G, the president of the 
UNC System, Erskrne Bowles, maintained a theme of "the enduring power 
of education." He spoke of teachers who "lit fires" within him, and of the 
dreams and accomplishments of those who love our state who came before 
him. Mr. President, I'm sure you would agree that those same remarks in 
another context could easily have referred to my mother, Betty Ray McCain, 
and her effect upon all of us. And as I serve my university, as I serve my 
community, and as I raise my own family, I know of no higher compliment 
than to overhear someone who knows us both to remark, "She sure is her 
mother's daughter." 

Congratulations, Mom. Dad would be so proud of you! And 
thank you, members and friends of the North Caroliniana Society. 




The Son 's Tribute 

Paul P. McCain 



Hello and good evening. 
Thank you so much to the North 
Caroliniana Society and others 
gathered here this evening for this 
wonderful event. My name is Paul 
McCain. I am the eldest child of 
John and Betty. Borrowing a term 
from Thad Eure, Mom refers to me 
as "the oldest rat in her barn." Since 
my sister has already provided truly 
dignified remarks befitting this 
occasion, the task falls on me this 
evening to illuminate life growing up 
in the McCain home in "Wide Awake 
Wilson." As one of Wilson's first 10- 
pound premature babies, I have been around for almost all of the 49 years 
of my parents' marriage. I'd like to share a few snippets of our family time 
together. 

One of my mom's most endearing qualities is her wit and humor, 
especially in awkward situations. The list of family stories in this area 
abound. One of the earliest occurred at our first Thanksgiving in the small 
two-bedroom house we grew up in on Highland Drive. Hosting both her 
parents and her mother-in-law, she had worked hard to prepare the 
traditional Thanksgiving feast. The table was set. All the relatives were 
seated. It was time for the beautiful, glistening brown turkey to come in 
from the kitchen, along with many compliments for the cook. A swinging 
door provided the entry between the kitchen and dining room. From 
reliable sources, the story goes that Dad tripped, the door swung open too 
quickly, and the turkey made one final flight from the platter down to the 
floor of the dining room. All present were aghast and no one seemed to 
know what to say next. Mom calmly instructed Dad to take that one back 
into the kitchen and bring out the other turkey . . . grace under fire. 

Now, we grew up in the true, original form of a traditional 
southern household. We were all told as children, "Hey, that's not your 
belly button; it's where the Yankees shot you." One of my earliest 
memories, maybe three or four years old, I recall handing out little painted 
lapel buttons for political candidates near polling places on election day. In 
time, my eye-to-hand coordination improved and collation opportunities 
arose. Only years later did I learn that child labor laws do apply to children 
of politicians. I guess most parents sing songs at bedtime, and we did too, 



THE GOODUEST LAND 29 

"Amazing Grace" and "Jesus Loves Me." But to this day, nothing really 
lays me out like "Nick, Nick, Galifianakis. . ." and ". . . vote for Richardson 
Preyer." 

My mother's brother's child, and my first cousin, Beth Ray, spent 
several weeks with us one summer. She even went with us on our driving 
vacation through western North Carolina. Traveling vacations at our house 
involved a delicate balance of doing as many fun things as we could 
persuade them to do, and visiting the historic sites that Mom had planned. 
Our cousin Beth was only four years old with beautiful bright red curly hair. 
But, she was going through a cursing phase. Quite by coincidence, a 
prominent politician who shall remain nameless was attending the outdoor 
drama Horn in the West at the same time as our family. I recall that even 
though it was one of the items on Mom's list, the show was still fun. 
Afterward, when Mom introduced each of us to this person, my cousin 
Beth spoke up to say, "My daddy says you are a bustard." This prominent 
leader inquired, "What did she say?" and we promptly exited. 

On the same trip we stopped at a state park which was a burial 
ground for Native Americans. Perhaps it was her early exposure to too 
many cowboy and Indian movies, but our cousin was terrified and refused 
to get out of the car. Only Mom was finally able to coax her out with the 
promise, "Aunt Betty is telling you the truth, all of these Indians are dead." 
The next day, as we rode on Tweetsie Railroad, that promise came into 
question. As many of you may recall, back in that era, the tracks were 
blocked, and Appalachian State University male students dressed in Native 
American garb, complete with wigs and war paint on their faces, charged 
the train, whooping and hollering. Well, none of the elderly folks in our 
train car even knew they were there. They all turned and stared in disbelief 
at an indignant red-haired four-year-old who had just yelled, "Dammit, 
Aunt Betty, you told me all them Indians were dead." Mom held her tight 
and assured her, "Honey, don't worry about them. They're not real Indians. 
But hold onto your purse, honey, they're Republicans." Once again, grace 
under fire. 

It was never dull on Highland Drive. For an active child, Mom 
provided frequent transport to the emergency room. Between football, 
soccer, bike accidents, and a generally mischievous nature (which may have 
come from her side of the family), perhaps it was her sense of humor that 
helped all of us deal with these adventures. After awhile, she often said as I 
walked out the door, "Be careful; everyone has sewn you up but the 
OBGYN." Eloise and I both were also active in our church youth 
program, in sports, and of course Young Democrats. 

Growing up Presbyterian, I suppose we were predestined to attend 
the many family reunions in Montreat for Dad's side of the family. The 
other family members in Dad's generation consisted largely of doctors, 
ministers, and college professors. These events bore little resemblance to 
the more free-wheeling reunions on Mom's side. Cousin Claude Moore 
hosted these events at his home, where the address is simply "The Home 



30 BETTY RAY McCAIN 

Place, Turkey, N.C." Claude wore a Confederate general's uniform and 
suggested we pledge allegiance to the Confederate battle flag. You might 
think this occurred decades ago, but I enjoyed the sideways glances from 
my wife during these proceedings. The traditional southern covered dish 
luncheon was always quite a spread. Now, I have seen chitlins and souse 
meat available for consumption on subsequent occasions, but the reunions 
on Mom's side are still the only ones at which I have encountered light 
bluish-green pickled peacock eggs. 

On other family vacations, or really anywhere with Mom, we were 
never far away from home. One of her primary school teachers from 
Faison rode with us in a small elevator down to the base of Niagara Falls. 
At a picnic area on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, we noticed on the 
ground an empty Cates Pickle jar from Faison, N.C, Mom's birthplace. No 
matter where life has taken our family, I cannot even count the number of 
times over the years when one or more of her friends — from St. Mary's, 
Chapel Hill, the church, legislature, arts community, medical profession, 
historical reenactments, and her many other areas of interest and 
involvement — have come up to speak with her. She even had this to 
happen once during a tour of Central Prison. In all of these encounters, 
Mom would immediately greet each person by name, regardless of the time 
elapsed since their previous meeting. This phenomenal gift is one that we 
hope resurfaces with one or more of the grandchildren, since Eloise and I 
do not have this gift to quite this degree. And speaking of grandchildren, 
my Mom, whom they all call "Meme," is the quintessential source of 
unconditional love and acceptance, with many stories far too numerous to 
mention at this occasion. Suffice it to say, it is not uncommon in the 
evenings when we are all together at a family outing for one of the 
grandchildren to say, "Meme, tell us a story of when you were growing up." 
Her gift of storytelling and her love of history are contagious. 

She had to work harder in my case to instill this lifelong interest. I 
am more like my father who went up to a guard at the entrance to The 
Louvre Museum in Paris and asked, "Look, I don't have a lot of time. 
What are the three best things you have here?" 

Mom, I feel sure Dad is also celebrating with us in spirit. And 
tonight, you are once again surrounded by a group of friends and family. 
We have come to celebrate your life, your accomplishments, your love of 
this state, and your lifelong dedication to history, art, and North Carolina 
culture. On behalf of our family, we offer our sincere thanks to the North 
Caroliniana Society for this special event. And Mom, we love you and we 
are so proud of you. 



Presentation of the Award 

Willis?. Which ard 




To my right you see a photograph of the sterling silver cup 
representing the North Caroliniana Society Award, the original of which is 
exhibited in the North Carolina Collection Reading Room in Wilson Library 
in Chapel Hill. Several years ago John and Ann Sanders were given the 
assignment of selecting a tangible symbol of this award. This is not just 
another cup; it already had a distinguished history connecting the family of 
Thomas Jefferson with that of Calvin Coolidge. Jefferson had a favorite 
granddaughter who, late in life, married a Coolidge and moved to 
Massachusetts. Much to his sorrow he never saw her again, but he heard 
about her through his correspondence with his friend John Adams, who 
saw her with some frequency. The trophy is appropriately engraved with 
the wording, "The North Caroliniana Society Award for Distinguished 
Contributions to North Carolina History and Culture," to which is added 
the name of each recipient on an accompanying sterling plate. John and 
Ann also selected modest sterling cups, one of which is appropriately 
engraved and presented to each winner. The simplicity of the cup is 
emblematic of the North Caroliniana Society's dedication to "Substance, 
not Show," the most essential quality we seek in each year's recipient. 
Betty, will you come forward and accept our award for 2006. 



Acceptance of the A.ward 



Betty Ray McCain 




[Ms. McCain graciously accepted the North Caroliniana Society 
Award for 2006, thanked the Society for the recognition, and thanked the 
members of the audience for their presence for the occasion.] 



THE GOODLIEST LAND 



33 




Betty McCain delivered her address, 'The Goodliest Land, " to a large audience. 



34 



BETTY RAY McCAIN 




then listened to and greeted family and friends following pages). 



THE GOODLIEST LAND 



35 




A.t top, Betty Ray McCain is surrounded by family. Left to right: Robby, Eloise, and 
Bay ley Hassell; the honoree; Elizabeth, Emily, Beth, and Paul McCain. In bottom 
photo with UNC President Erskine Bowles she listens intently to after-dinner speakers. 



36 



BETTY RAY McCAIN 




In top photograph, Betty McCain joins previous recipients of the North Caroliniana 
Society Award: H. G. Jones, John L. Sanders, Maxine Swalin, W. Trent Rag/and, Jr., 
and William S. Powell. At bottom she and daughter Eioise pose with Professor Powell. 



THE GOODLIEST LAND 



37 




38 



BETTY RAY McCAIN 




THE GOODLIEST LAND 



39 




40 



BETTY RAYMcCAIN 




THE GOODLIEST LAND 



41 




A. Special North Caroliniana Society Award 
to Dr. Joseph F. Steelman 

Dr. Joseph F. Steelman was presented a Special North Caroliniana 
Society Award on June 3 by President Willis P. Whichard in recognition of 
the retired ECU professor's distinguished career as historian, teacher, and 
author. The benches of historic Red Banks Primitive Baptist Church in 
Greenville were filled for the ceremony, which followed a "dinner on the 
grounds" characteristic of Primitive Baptist tradition. 

The ceremony followed a short business meeting of the host 
organization, Pitt County Historical Society, to which the North Caroliniana 
Society contributed a thousand dollars in honor of the award recipient. 
Mary Everett is president of county historical society. 

Maurice C. York, a member of the North Caroliniana Society and 
head of the North Carolina Collection at East Carolina University, paid 
eloquent tribute to his colleague, who taught North Carolina history to two 
generations of students at East Carolina. Addressing his remarks to Dr. 
Steelman's sixteen-year-old granddaughter, Lala Christina Ek, York traced 
the career of the Wilkes County native through three degrees at UNC- 
Chapel Hill, wartime army service in Europe, and a career of more than 
three decades at ECU. Steelman wrote widely on North Carolina history, 
and his research and publications on the Progressive Era stood for decades 
as the definitive work on the subject. In three different years he won the 
Robert D.W. Connor Award for the best article in the North Carolina 
Historical Review, and he was largely responsible for the inauguration of East 
Carolina's Publications in History series. Dr. Steelman was a founder of the 
Association of Historians in North Carolina and served as president of both 
the Historical Society of North Carolina and the North Carolina Literary 
and Historical Association. From "Lit & Hist," he and his late colleague 
and wife, Dr. Lala Carr Steelman, received the Christopher Crittenden 
Memorial Award in recognition of their contributions to the preservation 
and teaching North Carolina history. 

Dr. H. G. Jones, who presided, credited Dr. Steelman, his late 
colleague, Dr. Herbert R. Paschal, and other members of the Department of 
History with the establishment of the East Carolina Manuscripts Collection 
which, under the leadership of Donald R. Lennon, grew into one of the 
premier repositories in the state. 

In presenting the award, President Whichard reminded the 
audience that it honored both the living recipient and his late wife, whose 
distinguished career paralleled her husband's. 

With his characteristic modesty, Dr. Steelman accepted the award 
on behalf of himself, his late wife, and all of his former teachers, colleagues, 
and students. 



THE GOODLIEST LAND 



43 




Dr. Joseph F. Steelman accepting the Special North Caroliniana Society Award. At 
bottom are Maurice C. York, Dr. Steelman, Dr. H. G Jones, and President Whichard. 



The North Caroliniana Society 

Wilson Ubrary, Campus Box 3930 
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514-8890 

Telephone (919) 962-1 1 72; Fax (919) 962-4452; hgjonesjtv, em ail, mic. edu; www.ncsociety.org 

Chartered on 11 September 1975 as a private nonprofit corporation under provisions of 
Chapter 55 A of the General Statutes of North Carolina, the North Caroliniana Society is dedicated to the 
promotion of increased knowledge and appreciation of North Carolina's heritage through the 
encouragement of scholarly research and writing in and teaching of state and local history, literature, and 
culture; publication of documentary materials, including the numbered, limited-edition North Caroliniana 
Society Imprints and North Caroliniana Society Keepsakes; sponsorship of professional and lay conferences, 
seminars, lectures, and exhibitions; commemoration of historic events, including sponsorship of markers 
and plaques; and through assistance to the North Carolina Collection of UNC-Chapel Hill and other 
cultural organizations with kindred objectives. With an entirely volunteer staff and a motto of 
"Substance, not Show," the Society is headquartered in the incomparable North Carolina Collection in 
UNC's Wilson library. 

Incorporated by H. G. Jones, William S. Powell, and Louis M. Connor, Jr., who soon were 
joined by a distinguished group of North Carolinians, the Society was limited to a hundred members for 
the first decade. It elects from time to time additional individuals meeting its strict criterion of 
"adjudged performance" in service to their state's culture — i.e., those who have demonstrated a 
continuing interest in and support of the historical, literary, and cultural heritage of North Carolina. The 
Society, a tax-exempt organization under provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, 
expects continued service from its members, and for its programs it depends upon the contributions, 
bequests, and devises of its members and friends. Its IRS number is 56-1119848. Upon request, 
contributions to the Society may be counted toward Chancellor's Club membership. The Society 
administers a fund, given in 1987 by the Research Triangle Foundation in honor of its retiring board 
chairman and the Society's longtime president, from which over 260 Archie K. Davis Fellowships have 
been awarded for research in North Carolina's historical and cultural resources. The Society also 
sponsors the North Caroliniana Book Award, recognizing a book that best captures the essence of 
North Carolina, and it confers the William Stevens Powell Award upon a senior student who has 
contributed most to an understanding of the history and traditions of The University of North Carolina 
at Chapel Hill. It provides prizes for students in the National History Day. 

A highlight of the Society's year is the presentation of the North Caroliniana Society Award 
to an individual or organization for long and distinguished service in the encouragement, production, 
enhancement, promotion, and preservation of North Caroliniana. Starting with Paul Green, the Society 
has recognized Albert Coates, Sam J. Ervin, Jr., Sam Ragan, Gertrude S. Carraway, John Fries Blair, 
William and Ida Friday, William S. Powell, Man 7 and James Semans, David Stick, William M. Cochrane, 
Emma Neal Morrison, Burke Davis, Lawrence F. London, Frank H. Kenan, Charles Kuralt, Archie K. 
Davis, H. G. Jones, J. Carlyle Sitterson, Leroy T Walker, Hugh M. Morton, John L. Sanders, Doris 
Betts, Reynolds Price, Richard H. Jenrette, Wilma Dykeman, Frank Borden Hanes, Sr., Maxine Swalin, 
Elizabeth Vann Moore, W. Trent Ragland, Jr., W. Dallas Herring, John Hope Franklin, Betty Ray 
McCain, Joseph F. Steelman, and, on its sesquicentennial, the North Carolina Collection. 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

Willis P. Whichard, President 

Archie K. Davis (1911-1998) and William C. Friday, Presidents Emeriti 

William S. Powell, I ice-President, H. G. Jones, Secretary; Martin H. Brinkley, Treasurer 

H. David Bruton, Kevin Cherry, James W. Clark, Jr., Dana Borden Lacy, 
Nancy Cobb Lilly, Dannye Romine Powell, W. Trent Ragland, Jr., John L. Sanders 

Ex Officio: Archives and History Director, North Carolina Collection Curator 

Directors Emeriti: Frank Borden Hanes, Sr., Betty A. Hodges, Edward L. Rankin, Jr., 

Robert W. Scott, William D. Snider 



NORTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY IMPRINTS 

[continued from inside front cover] 



No. 21. A Half Century with 'Rare Books (1991) 
by Lawrence F. London 

No. 22. Frank H. Kenan: An Appreciation (1992) 
edited by Archie K. Davis 

No. 23. Growing Up in North Carolina, by Charles Kuralt, and 
The Uncommon Laureate, by Wallace H. Kuralt (1 993) 

No. 24. Chancellors Extraordinary: J. Carlyle Sitterson and LeRoy T Walker (1995) 
by William C. Friday and Willis P. Whichard 

No. 25. Historical Consciousness in the Early Republic (1995) 
edited by H. G. Jones 

No. 26. Sixty Years with a Camera (1996) 
by Hugh M. Morton 

No. 27. William Gaston as a Public Man (1997) 
by John L. Sanders 

No. 28. William P. dimming and the Study of Cartography (1998) 
edited by Robert Cumming 

No. 29. My Love Affair with Carolina (1 998) 
by Doris Waugh Betts 

No. 30. A Single but Huge Distinction (1999) 
by Reynolds Price 

No. 31. Richard J enrette's Adventures in Historic Preservation (2000) 
edited by H. G. Jones 

No. 32. Sketches in North Carolina USA 1872 to 1878 (2001) 
by Mortimer O. Heath; edited by H. G. Jones 

No. 33. Roots and Branches (2001) 
by Wilma Dykeman 

No. 34. Glimmers in the Gloaming (2002) 
by Frank Borden Hanes, Sr. 

No. 35. Coming of Age in North Carolina's Fifth Century, by Maxine Swalin, and 
The North Carolina Symphony, The People's Orchestra, by John L. Humber (2003) 

No. 36. Reflections (2004) 
by W. Trent Ragland, Jr. 

No. 37. Photographers in North Carolina: The First Century, 1842-194 1 (2004) 
Essays by Stephen E. Massengill, H. G. Jones, Jesse R. Lankford 

No. 38. North Carolina Conundrum (2005) 
by John Hope Franklin 

No. 39. Poetical Geography of North Carolina (1887; 2006) 
by Needham Bryan Cobb 

No. 40. The Goodliest Land (2006) 
by Betty Ray McCain 




NORTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY AWARD RECIPIENTS 



1978 


Paul Green 


1994 


Archie K. Davis 


1979 


Albert Co ate s 


1994 


North Carolina Collection 


1980 


Sam]. Ervin, Jr. 


1995 


J. Carlyle Sitterson 


1981 


Sam Ragan 


1995 


EeRoy T. Walker 


1982 


Gertrude Sprague Carraway 


1996 


Hugh MacRae Morton 


1983 


John Fries Blair 


1997 


John E. Sanders 


1984 


William C <& Ida H. Friday 


1998 


Doris Waugh Betts 


1985 


William S. Powell 


1999 


Reynolds Price 


1986 


Mary D.B.T <& James Semans 


2000 


Richard H. Jenrette 


1987 


David Stick 


2001 


Wilma Djkeman 


1988 


William McWhorter Cochrane 


2002 


Frank Borden Hanes, Sr. 


1989 


Emma Neal Morrison 


2003 


Maxine Swalin 


1990 


Burke Davis 


2004 


Elizabeth Vann Moore 


1991 


Eaivrence F. Eondon 


2004 


W. Trent Ragland, Jr. 


1992 


Frank Hawkins Kenan 


2005 


W. Dallas Herring 


1993 


Charles Kuralt 


2005 


John Hope Franklin 


1994 


H. G.Jones 


2006 


Betty Ray McCain 




2006 Joseph 


F. Steelman 



FOR USE ONLY IN 
THE NORTH CAROLINA COLLECTION 



Form No. A-368, Rev. 8/95